Sunday, September 27

Graduate blacklisted for RM15,000 study loan she never used


KUCHING: A graduate who hails from Sibu is annoyed with the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) over a RM15,000 study loan she never used.

WHO IS ANSWERABLE?: Yong (left) with Lai holding letters from Kolej Chermai Jaya and PTPTN during the news conference.

WHO IS ANSWERABLE?: Yong (left) with Lai holding letters from Kolej Chermai Jaya and PTPTN during the news conference.

She has been trying to have the record with PTPTN written off years ago because she realises the need to gain a loan-free status.

But recently she received a legal letter from PTPTN, stating that she is not allowed to leave the country until she has settled the outstanding amount.

The 29-year-old, who wishes to be known as Lai, said being blacklisted like that was most frustrating because she was planning for a trip abroad later this month.

According to her, she did apply for study grant from PTPTN way back in 2001 but her application was not approved until 2004, a year after she completed her Diploma in Computer Science at Kolej Chermai Jaya in 2003.

She said it was her sister who paid all the fees for the duration of her study between 2001 and 2003 where as she was only informed by PTPTN that her study loan for RM15,000 had been approved and credited direct to Kolej Chermai Jaya in May 2004.

She said she did not use a single sen of the RM15,000 because by the time of the approval she had left the college close to a year.

Left with no choice, she sought help from Pending assemblyman Violet Yong, who wrote several letters to PTPTN and the college for a solution.

According to Yong, the college had promised to return the RM15,000 to PTPTN by installment and pledged to cancel the record.

“The college acknowledged that it received the amount transferred directly by PTPTN.  Chermai Jaya promised to return the amount but PTPTN is still after Lai, which means, the amount is not yet settled.

“Lai received a letter dated Feb 19, 2010 saying that she has been blacklisted and is not allowed to go out of Malaysia,” Yong told a news conference at Democratic Action Party (DAP) headquarters here yesterday.

Yong, who is DAP Sarawak treasurer, said Kolej Chermai Jaya was, among other seven higher learning institutions ordered to  shut down in 2008.

“Now that the college is no longer in operation, where has the money gone?  Although PTPTN has promised to look into the issue, it is not solved until today.

“PTPTN does not seem to serve the purpose when it approved the loan only after Lai has completed her studies,” she said.

The last address of the college is in Matang Jaya.  It is learnt that the college used to be at Jalan Pending and Semariang.

The latest statement from PTPTN shows that Lai owes PTPTN about RM18,000.

Yong said the corporation must beef up its administrative system in order to avoid similar incidents from occurring.

“I will seek help from Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng  Jen t o  highlight this issue during the parliament sitting,” she said, adding that such problem should be solved once and for all so that students like Lai did not have to suffer from something that was not their mistake.